6 Most Popular Types of Whisky

types of whisky

The sheer amount of whisky collection in the liquor store can often stump even many seasoned drinkers, let alone amateurs. You may find yourself in a myriad of thoughts and questions ranging from:

What is the difference between Japanese whisky and Irish whisky?”


“Is all scotch whisky?”


“What whisky would be best for mixed drinks?” (etc. etc.)

Navigating the whisky world can be arduous; however, with a little outside help, you can choose the best whisky type for yourself. In this guide, we’ll help you know your scotch from your bourbon (and more!) and learn about some of the most popular types of whisky around the world.

But first…

Is It Whisky or Whiskey?

It is both, and neither is incorrect unless you are regionally biased.

The spelling depends entirely on where it is made as different regions around the world have varying historical spellings. So, yes, whisky can be spelled both with and without an “e”. Believe us; this slight distinction has stumped even the most seasoned drinkers.

Nonetheless, the letter is essential to the story of the spirit. For instance, the Scots do not use the letter “e,” and distillers in Japan and Canada follow their lead. In contrast, the Irish do use the letter “e,” a custom that transferred over to American whiskeys.

We thought to clear this confusion in case the grammar police get all pumped up. And now that it is out of the way, we can thoroughly focus on the topic at hand: types of whisky.

Let us begin!

Type #1: Scotch Whisky

Commonly known as just scotch, this whisky type is made in Scotland with either grain or malt. Not many people know, but the Scots take their whisky production extremely seriously. They even have stringent laws that every distiller must follow.

When it comes to scotch whisky, the spirit is matured for at least three years in an oak barrel. In addition to this, every scotch bottle has an age statement that reflects the youngest aged whisky utilised to produce that blend. This whisky makes an amazing after-dinner drink.

Type #2: Bourbon Whisky

Bourbon, an American-style whisky, is produced from corn in America. You’ll be surprised to know that in order to be deemed bourbon, the spirit needs to be created from at least fifty-one per cent corn and is then matured in an oak barrel. Bourbon whisky is generally used in mint juleps and also referred to as the star ingredient.

Type #3: Irish Whisky

In contrast to other kinds of whisky, Irish whiskey has a smoother flavour. Moreover, it is made from a malt mash, can be distilled only using caramel and water colouring, and should be distilled for at least three years in wooden casks. The final result is a drink that is easy on the rocks or to sip neat. Additionally, Irish whisky can also be used to create fun cocktails.

Type #4: Canadian Whisky

Like scotch whisky, Canadian whisky also needs to be aged at least for three years in an oak barrel. Compared to other kinds of whisky, it is smoother and lighter as it contains a high proportion of corn. You will see that most Canadian whiskies are produced from rye and corn. However, other variations may also feature barley or wheat.

Type #5: Japanese Whisky

Though a little late to the whisky game than scotch and Irish, this whisky has left a significant mark on the world of spirits due to its high standards and quality. Japanese whisky used similar distilling methods as scotch whisky and was even made to taste as close to it. Japanese whisky is amazing on its own, but many people like it with a splash of soda or in mixed drinks.

Type #6: Rye Whisky

This whisky is made in the U.S. with at least fifty-one per cent rye, whereas other ingredients include barley and corn. Rye Whisky follows the same distilling methods as bourbon whisky. Additionally, Rye whisky that has not been blended and has matured for two or more years is called “Straight Rye Whisky.” This whisky type tends to have a spicier flavour than smoother, sweeter whiskies like bourbon.


Now that you know the basics for the most popular types of whisky, get ready to pour yourself a drink. You could even get your friends and family involved too in fun by getting them whisky gift sets for special occasions so that you can all all have a blast together!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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